Are you a fan of personality quizzes? There are, of course, the sort that are exploding on Facebook lately and will tell you whether you’re a pizza or a sandwich, a Carrie or a Samantha, or perhaps just guess your psychic age. But I’m thinking of the more (pseudo?) scientific sort, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test—which also seems to have the most devout following. Annie Murphy Paul, who wrote The Cult of Personality Testing, once wrote that “the MBTI is a secular religion, and no amount of scientific evidence will dissuade its true believers. I have tried, and have repeatedly been told that it’s clearly my fill-in-a-four-letter-personality-type-here nature that makes me so skeptical.”
I once received a reader email that read “When you are looking forward to the new season of Girls, starring one of the dumbest people on the planet, most people think ‘Why?”‘
So I’m curious, now that the show has ended—will you miss it? Since its debut back in 2012, Girls‘ painful humor has been nothing if not polarizing. And I can get on board with many of the critiques (hello, whiteness), but I also found the show to be very self-aware—is the whiteness of Hannah’s Brooklyn also a comment on her insularity and privilege, for example? And so many of its stories (and even its clichés) seem consciously provocative in an effort to critique and question those who fit inside, as well as those who judge from the outside, the category of “millennial.”
There was an article in The New Yorker last week where the writer finally binge-watches the show and sees it as better than she was led to imagine. And she writes that too often the show has been treated as if realism is its goal, as if Lena is Hannah, often “to conceal the larger, inadmissible, ridiculous question of whether Lena Dunham herself was worthy or unworthy, good or bad.” The writer’s distance from her own character may seem narrow at times, but it’s apparent. It’s especially apparent in the way she’s able to laugh at and call attention to the extended adolescence the characters in the show often seem to be existing in, for example by identifying herself with an actual adolescent in the final episode.
How does one maintain friendships beyond college? How does it feel to see your parents as people apart from you? What kinds of addled-relationship behavior make you cringe—and how many have I been guilty of? Which breakups are the hardest? The show had seasons I liked more than others, but I feel like these were some of the things that consistently brought me back, that made me think and made me laugh. And I laughed a lot.
I really don’t think I’m the only one who will miss Girls and its take on female friendships and relationships in one’s twenties—even if those depicted were very different from my own.
Or am I? Did you watch the series? Did you watch the final episode? What did you think?